A World of Different Green Teas from Different Regions Around the World
There are a whole slew of green teas to explore out there! The variety is quite amazing. In general, green teas tend to be a bit more on the vegetal side of the flavor spectrum. However, not always the case. Green teas vary greatly from region to region, due to soil content, climate, altitude, and processing methods. The resulting cup can range from spinach green, grassy, extremely astringent, delicate, floral, roasted, or sweet.
China heavily produces black teas for export. Although, among natives, green tea is the beverage of choice in most areas. Dragonwell (a.k.a. Lung Ching) is one of China's finest and often served to visiting diplomats. Hyson style green teas are also quite poplular from China, and great for using in flavored blends as well as stand alone. Dragonwell has a large, deep green, flat leaf; while hyson is mostly curled and twisted and can very in color depending on the age and quality of the leaf.
Japan is the other big producer of green teas. Most popular is the sencha style green tea. Often grassy and vegetal with a small flat leaf. Very commonly served in Japanese restaurants here in the States. Among the most coveted teas from Japan include Gyokuro which is dark green and shiny in the leaf, quite vegetal and seaweed-y in the cup. Unique in its growing process, the leaves are shaded several weeks before harvest.
Matcha is a style of green tea making a buzz in the culinary scene. Extremely high in antioxidants and great for cooking with or throwing in your morning shake. Containing pure tea leaf, the stem and veins are removed and the remaining matter is powdered, creating the most potent tea to be consumed. Matcha is produced mostly in Japan, however, gaining ground in other countries such as China and Canada.
As popularity and world demand grows, we'll see other regions become bigger players in green tea production. For example, India is stepping up its production recognizing the need, as well as seeing local consumption increase. Our Glenburn Darjeeling Green is a most spectacular specimen of just how unique and exquisite an Indian green tea can be! Upon my first cup, I was hooked.
This is by no means a complete list of all the green teas but a starting place in getting to know some of the options out there. Go Green Tasting! Coming from a belief that they don't like green teas, some folks are pleasantly surprised when they come across a green they actually enjoy and appreciate. I say, "welcome to the green side!"
What do you look for in a green tea?